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#252378 - 10/01/08 01:40 PM Re: I don't know where I am at [Re: dusty42]
M3 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 1392
Loc: Central Ohio
Dusty,

I'm glad you found MaleSurvivor. Congratulations on beginning your recovery! Make sure you read up on the forums. I know when I first got here I read the Survivor Stories, I just couldn't believe that I wasn't alone and that these people were here and I could connect with them. It was freeing and life saving for me.

There's so much content here to read and process. Take your time. And the guys on this site are so supportive, post any questions you have and you'll get thoughtful answers from guys who have been there before or are there now!

Peace and love Dusty, and again, welcome...

Michael


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#252688 - 10/03/08 03:12 AM Re: I don't know where I am at [Re: sunwolf]
dusty42 Offline


Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 111
Loc: Kentucky
Dusty42 has deleted this message. I no longer feel safe here.



Edited by dusty42 (03/18/09 03:28 PM)
Edit Reason: I no longer feel safe here
_________________________
Pinky: "Gee Brain, what do you want to do tonight?"
The Brain: "The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world."

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#252747 - 10/03/08 02:31 PM Re: I don't know where I am at [Re: dusty42]
M3 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 1392
Loc: Central Ohio
Dusty,

I'm glad you talked to your friend and you know what? It's OK for both of you to be confused. It's not the ideal situation, but hey, it's OK.

Our sexuality is such an integrated part of who we are, it's no wonder it gets screwed up from childhood abuse, especially childhood sexual abuse. It gets tangled in a know with other aspects of our life because we are experiencing feelings and emotions that we weren't ready to learn and all of the aspects of our life gets knotted up with the the lies, shame and guilt that our abusers left with us. Sometimes our sexuality isn't the first thing that can be disentangled from the mess the abuse left.

For me, the first thing I had to learn to do was identify the shame, guilt and lies that I'd learned from my perpetrators and figure out how to give them back. They weren't mine, I didn't want them because they hurt, so I found ways to give them back to ease my burden. And as I continued to tease out this knot, I found more and more stuff to give back to the abusers.

This process of identifying what isn't mine and giving it back made undoing the knot so much easier. But I still had a mess to put back together. For adult CSA survivors, we have a tendency to have three aspects to our sexuality that we need to meld back into one. First, is our true sexuality that has been twisted by the abuse. Usually, as adults, this takes a long time to identify, heal, and feel comfortable with - we could be experiencing out true sexuality, but if it is still tangled up with everything else, you may still feel the guilt or confusion associated with other aspects of your life that are still tangled up with your sexuality. It takes time.

Second, is our tendency to act out sexually as a reaction to the abuse. This could be with the same sex or opposite sex, this could be impulsive anonymous sex or serial monogamy, pornography or cheating on spouses, whatever, but these tend to be things that we feel guilty or dirty about later and not understand where the desires come from or why we act on them. All we are really doing is applying the lessons we've been taught by our abusers, but we think we are making conscious decisions to do these things - we really aren't.

The third is the re-enacting our abuse. This can be in physical, mental or emotional, but the abuse itself is what we end up seeking. For example, having to fantasize about being abused as an adult, or your childhood abuse to achieve an orgasm during sex. Or possibly entering into BDSM to have other act as your abusers in safe ways. The pattern I see here is that we tie the abuse to sexual enjoyment and are having trouble decoupling the two. But hey, again, that is what we were taught as little kids, what more do you expect?

The point is, sexuality is complicated and CSA makes it even more so. We can't expect to figure out our sexuality in a healthy way without being treated for the whole person. Recovery of the whole person allows us to get in touch with our sexuality, have confidence that we can take care of ourselves, identify behaviors and feelings that are directly related to or reactions to the abuse and deal with them, and, in the end, share our sexuality in a safe, affirming manner with someone we, hopefully, love. (At least that is my hope.)

I'm proud of you Dusty, for talking this out with your friend instead of acting out your desire. It's great that you are able to identify these desires and put them into context. You may not understand them yet, but that will come. Maybe you and your friend will become emotionally involved and have a physical relationship. Who knows? But since you've talked this out with him, you both can enter into it better informed. Making sure you each know the intentions and expectations before you act is important to protecting yourself emotionally.

Just know, for CSA survivors, especially during periods when we are in therapy or otherwise actively working on therapy, we can become a bit emotionally unhinged when good or bad things happen. Because we have really been denied many good emotions when we were kids, our body has trouble dealing with them as adults. It's an education process for our mind and body to learn how to handle good feelings and emotions! So, don't worry if you go on a roller coaster ride emotionally when something good happens. It doesn't mean it was really a bad thing, it was just a learning process.

It sounds like you have a great friend if he will talk to you about these things.

Peace and love Dusty...

Michael


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#252935 - 10/04/08 02:43 PM Re: I don't know where I am at [Re: M3]
dusty42 Offline


Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 111
Loc: Kentucky
Dusty42 has deleted this message. I no longer feel safe here.



Edited by dusty42 (03/18/09 03:27 PM)
Edit Reason: I no longer feel safe here
_________________________
Pinky: "Gee Brain, what do you want to do tonight?"
The Brain: "The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world."

Top
#252942 - 10/04/08 03:28 PM Re: I don't know where I am at [Re: dusty42]
M3 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 1392
Loc: Central Ohio
Dusty,

He sounds like a really great friend. I'm not a therapist, but the first thing that pops into my mind is that as kids, we are taught to confuse love and sex. If you become attached to someone, it is logical to have sex with that person. As adults, that leads to impulsive behavior because when we like someone, we want to sleep with them. When we feel connected with someone, we want to sleep with them. (I could go on...) But the point is, everything leads back to sex. I'm wondering if you are becoming closer to this friend and the closer the two of you get emotionally, your mind and body is kicking in say, you should be having sex with this person. No matter how much your logical brain knows that isn't ever going to happy, you emotions and libido aren't rational and are going to do what they want to do.

You should really take your friend up on his offer to pay for the therapist. The therapist will be able to help you sort this out and help you recover from your abusive past.

Peace and love...

Michael


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#253141 - 10/05/08 10:29 PM Re: I don't know where I am at [Re: sunwolf]
dusty42 Offline


Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 111
Loc: Kentucky
Dusty42 has deleted this message. I no longer feel safe here.



Edited by dusty42 (03/18/09 03:26 PM)
Edit Reason: I no longer feel safe here
_________________________
Pinky: "Gee Brain, what do you want to do tonight?"
The Brain: "The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world."

Top
#253153 - 10/05/08 11:29 PM Re: I don't know where I am at [Re: dusty42]
M3 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 1392
Loc: Central Ohio
It depends Dusty, it depends. Get with a good therapist. Maybe you can make a WoR sometime. But the sooner you learn to give the abuser back his shame and guilt and can focus that emotional energy on healing instead of hurting, the sooner you will be able to reclaim your life.


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#253257 - 10/06/08 05:53 PM Re: I don't know where I am at [Re: M3]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Dusty,

You ask how long it will take, and for the sake of comparison I can give you the case of an injury I suffered in 2000, when my right shoulder was crushed in a fall. It was rebuild through surgery and I had to go through a lot of painful and inconvenient physio - even had to "teach" myself how to write, type and pick things up again. I often wondered "how long will this take?" And I was shocked - devastated really - when I was told that probably I would never regain total use of my arm.

But I did the work in physio and tried to stay positive. These days I guess I have about 70% use of my arm, and well, there are just things I can't do. But the real breakthrough came with my attitude. I got past the frustration, and "why me" questions and focused on the options that actually lay open to me. And I get along just fine today! Yes, sometimes I remember the injury and the terrible pain I was in, and sometimes I think it's a real pain in the ass all the things I can't do. But then I find that I can regroup and refocus on the positive things and get on with my life.

I think that's what we also do as survivors. I see recovery not as a goal but as a path - an attitude if you like. I know I will never forget what was done to me, but I also know I can keep those memories from hijacking my life and ambushing me the way they used to. And mainly, I have learned to live in peace with myself, and with the world. That is an achievement that many people, including lots of non-survivors, never attain.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#253412 - 10/07/08 03:02 PM Re: I don't know where I am at [Re: roadrunner]
dusty42 Offline


Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 111
Loc: Kentucky
Dusty42 has deleted this message. I no longer feel safe here.



Edited by dusty42 (03/18/09 03:25 PM)
Edit Reason: I no longer feel safe here
_________________________
Pinky: "Gee Brain, what do you want to do tonight?"
The Brain: "The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world."

Top
#253440 - 10/07/08 05:54 PM Re: I don't know where I am at [Re: dusty42]
M3 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 1392
Loc: Central Ohio
Dusty,

I'm glad you are going to go to therapy.

Quote:
My friend is hoping that I will become heterosexual and I don't think I can or even want to. Why can't I be what I am?


You can be anything you want to be. Don't focus on your sexuality for now, focus on sorting out things and healing. Once you understand what your abusers did and unburden yourself with their shame and guilt, you'll know the answers to your questions.

As for your friend, he may just be hoping your attraction to him will dissipate so things aren't awkward between the two of you.

Peace and love,

Michael


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